Hello there to most of us driftwoods in the ocean. Yes, that is an appropriate way to address most of us who in the quest to conform, comply, fit in, appease, not disappoint, give up (sacrifice is more like it I reckon) a part of the authentic us to please the other. Voluntarily short changing ourselves. And, in a lot of cases, not even being able to wallow in self pity about it (lest it displease the other side). The consequences of this on our state of health is immense. And there is nothing positive about it.
So, rather than be the driftwood in the ocean, the goal is to become a sailboat with a rudder that is influenced by the wind, but charts its own course. The willing allies of our inability to say no include anxiety, stress, depression, poor health and last but not the least sub optimal self worth.
A lot of us are in this boat. Where our middle name is ‘people pleaser‘. Time to seek out the discomfort and have these hard conversations. Purposeful confrontations. And by hard conversations I actually mean radical candor where you are caring personally while challenging professionally. And this can be done without being aggressive or insincere. Radical Candor really just means saying what you think while also giving a damn about the person you’re saying it to.
For example, in work teams there are functional and dysfunctional staff. Several leaders intentionally scope the talent and temperaments and then “exploit the best, who carry the rest“. Excellent workers are often strategically groomed to burn out and those employees who “coast” simply watch and laugh. Setting boundaries with an employer is critical.
We are so busy caring more about how to show up so as to be accepted. That we don’t show up at all. With our real self and with what we really want. Among other fallouts, add Fibromyalgia to the mix of diseases that can be caused by people pleasing. When your mouth can’t make your true state of being overwhelmed/exhausted be heard and your body starts with all the pain to protect yourself from the outside and forces you to hide within. Studies have shown that parts of the brain that register pain react differently if you have fibromyalgia. This means you feel pain when other people just feel uncomfortable or stiff. And the vicious cycle takes you back to what you think is right(which is actually wrong) i.e people pleasing!
You might like this single by Cat Burns( an artist who speaks about personality traits, mental health and interaction with others, so beautifully). You can listen to the song here https://youtu.be/uPkuTVQAIiM?si=WkZLYAUABUnB2vmC
You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do. There’s more rewards in leading the crowd, than pleasing it. Don’t burn yourself, to keep others warm. Don’t be afraid of losing people, but be afraid of losing yourself trying to make everyone happy.
So, please do as you please!